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Guardianship FAQs

What is the difference between and Power of Attorney and guardianship?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby an individual names one or more people to make financial decisions on his or her behalf, if the individual is unwilling or unable to make financial decisions independently.

Guardianship refers to a legal proceeding where the Probate Court appoints one or more people to make health and personal welfare decisions on behalf of an adult with an intellectual disability (in Connecticut, and IQ of 69 or lower).

Do you need guardianship if you have a power of attorney?

In Connecticut, a Power of Attorney is created by an individual who has the mental capacity to appoint an individual to manage his or her finances.  Guardianship is a legal proceeding for individuals with an intellectual disability (in Connecticut, an IQ of 69 or lower) who do not have the mental capacity to create a Power of Attorney.  With the permission of the Court, a Guardian can manage up to $10,000 on behalf of an individual with an intellectual disability, and can make decisions regarding the individual’s health and well-being.

Does guardianship override POA?

When an individual applies for Guardianship through the Probate Court, the court asks whether the individual previously created a Power of Attorney.  If so, the Court determines whether to keep the Power of Attorney in force, whether to suspend it, or whether to terminate it altogether.

Does a guardian have financial responsibility?

In Connecticut, a Guardian of a person with an intellectual disability (IQ of 69 or lower) can obtain special permission from the Court to manage up to $10,000.00 on behalf of the individual under guardianship.  If the individual has more than $10,000.00, then a Conservator of Estate is necessary to manage the additional funds.

Does guardianship override a medical power of attorney?

When an individual applies for Guardianship through the Probate Court, the court asks whether the individual previously created an Advance Healthcare Directive (sometimes referred to as a medical power of attorney).  If so, the Court determines whether to keep the Advance Healthcare Directive in force, whether to suspend it, or whether to terminate it altogether.

What is an eldercare trust?

An Asset Preservation Trust (sometimes referred to as an eldercare trust) is a legal document that is intended to protect assets in the event that an individual requires long-term care Medicaid supports at home or in a skilled nursing facility five years after the trust is funded.  It is important to work with an elder law attorney to ensure that the Trust is advisable for the client’s particular circumstances, and to ensure that it is properly drafted.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Conservator?

When a person is not able to make decisions regarding his or her own personal care, a judge-appointed conservator is responsible for making sure the individual’s basic needs are met. These needs may include everything from basic shelter and food to ongoing medical treatment, transportation, and more.

Interested in learning more about guardianship or how you can begin the process? Contact our firm at (860) 238-0031 to speak with one of our attorneys today!

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